Volume 15 in the "Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers" series focuses on the American Economist, Murray Rothbard. Murray Rothbard (1926-1995) was an economist, historian, philosopher, and legal theoretician. His work was unified by a passionate and resolute commitment to a libertarianism that may be characterized as 'anarcho-capitalism' and which implied a belief that even the legal system may be provided privately without the need for a coercive collective authority. Hence, anarcho-capitalists envisage a society where the traditional role of government is wholly subsumed by private, profit-making enterprises and all social relationships are ultimately founded upon consent. Rothbard's unique intellectual contribution was to build this system of thought from many pre-existing but previously disparate strands and to develop it to its logical conclusion. Rothbard's starting points were the notions of methodological individualism, natural rights theory, and individual self-ownership. He showed that if we wish these seriously then the justification for government falls away.
According to Rothbard government can only be 'justified' if we abandon the notion that individuals have the right to determine what to do with their own bodies, a step he believed to be unconscionable. "Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers" provides comprehensive accounts of the works of seminal conservative thinkers from a variety of periods, disciplines, and traditions - the first series of its kind. Even the selection of thinkers adds another aspect to conservative thinking, including not only theorists but also writers and practitioners. The series comprises twenty volumes, each including an intellectual biography, historical context, critical exposition of the thinker's work, reception and influence, contemporary relevance, bibliography including references to electronic resources, and an index.
Gerard Casey is Senior Lecturer in philosophy at University College, Dublin. and Adjunct Professor at the Maryvale Institute. He is the author of several books and peer-reviewed journal articles, and his research interests are libertarianism and philosophical anarchism. Dr Meadowcroft is Lecturer in Public Policy at King's College London and the author of The Ethics of the Market (Palgrave, 2005) and co-author of Rescuing Social Capital from Social Democracy (Institute of Economic Affairs, 2007).
Series Introduction, Series Editor's Preface, Acknowledgements; 1. Intellectual Biography; Introduction; Family and Education; Rothbard meets Mises; Early Writings and Political Activity; Rothbard - Right and Left; Rothbard in Brooklyn and Las Vegas; Power and Market, For a New Liberty, The Ethics of Liberty; Think Tanks, Institutes and Journals; Libertarianism and Conservatism; Rothbard - Economist and Libertarian; 2. Rothbard - Libertarian; Introduction; Rothbard - Praxeologist; Rothbard - Natural Law Ethicist; Rothbard - Enemy of the State; Rothbard - Defender of Liberty; 3. Influence and Reception; Introduction; Rothbard and Nozick; Rothbard - Historian of Economic Crises; Rothbard - Historian of Liberty; Rothbard - Historian of Economics; Conclusion; 4. Contemporary Relevance; The Global Financial Crisis of 2007; Rothbard - Polemicist; A World Full of Hate?; Libertarianism and Conservatism - Again; Strategy; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.